Campus - 12.02.2013 - 00:00 

Sustainable management education

As a signatory to the U.N. Principles for Responsible Management Education, the HSG has committed itself to exercising responsibility in research and teaching. A report summarises its achievements.
Source: HSG Newsroom


12 February 2013. With the Principles for Responsible Management Education, or PRME for short, the United Nations intend to entrench sustainable personality development at business schools. The PRME principles take their bearings from the principles created for companies by the UN Global Compact.

Education of responsible personalities
The PRME Report comprehensively documents for the first time how issues of social responsibility and sustainability are enshrined in teaching, research, executive education and conferences. One pillar of the education of responsible personalities is constituted by the compulsory contextual studies at the HSG: A quarter of studies is made up of courses in Leadership Skills, Critical Thinking and Cultural Awareness, irrespective of majors and programmes.

Furthermore, the Report reveals that St.Gallen was one of Europe’s first business universities to establish an Institute for Business Ethics (1989) and an Institute for Economy and the Environment (1992). Student engagement, too, has a long tradition. Thus the oikos association has been promoting students’ awareness of sustainability since 1987. Today, more than 100 students work in twelve project groups, and the association has over 170 members. The oikos Foundation, which has been funded by companies and foundations since 1990, and oikos International, which was set up in 1997, are both offspring of oikos. This international initiative numbers more than 1,000 members and runs 42 local organisations at business schools in 21 countries today.

In the last few years, a second Chair of Business Ethics and a privately sponsored Chair of the Management of Renewable Energies have been created. In 2009, the – also privately funded – Center for Disability and Integration was inaugurated. This Center examines economic and business administrative effects of the integration of people with disabilities on the primary labour market.

PRME principles also to be entrenched in core studies
Three new executive education courses focusing on sustainability have been launched since 2010: the programme for the Management of Renewable Energies (REM-HSG), the Sustainable Business programme and a programme in Corporate Social Responsibility (Certified CSR Professional). The HSG’s carbon footprint was measured with the help of an oikos initiative. This is serving the HSG Administration as a basis for improvement measures.

The Report also brings home that the HSG still has some work to do: Issues of responsibility and sustainability have so far been enshrined in contextual studies and electives. The PRME principles stipulate that in future, these issues should also be discussed in core studies.

Picture: Photocase / lemmiu